End of the line for France’s oldest nuclear plant Jun 30, 2020 0 557 12345 AFPFessenheimAn operation to switch off France’s oldest nuclear plant began on Monday, ending four decades of output that built the local economy but also fueled cross-border controversy.The second and last reactor of the plant at Fessenheim in eastern France -- opened in 1977 and three years over its projected 40-year life span -- should go offline shortly before midnight, said state-owned power company EDF.The procedure to finally shut down the plant, four months after the first reactor was taken offline, started hours earlier than scheduled, and will be followed in the coming months and years by the site’s dismantlement.Its closure is welcomed by anti-nuclear campaigners in France, Germany and Switzerland, who for years warned of contamination risks, particularly after the catastrophic meltdown at Fukushima, Japan in 2011.Then-president Francois Hollande pledged to close Fessenheim -- on the Rhine river -- but it was not until 2018 that his successor Emmanuel Macron gave the final green light.After its disconnection from the power grid Monday, it will be months before Fessenheim’s reactors have cooled enough for the spent fuel to be removed.That process should be completed by 2023, but the plant is not expected to be fully dismantled before at least 2040.The closure threatens the livelihoods of 2,500 people in the tiny Alsatian community.Only 294 people will be needed on site for the fuel removal process until 2023, and about 60 after that for the final disassembly. RELATED ARTICLES WHO says pandemic ‘not even close’ to over as death toll tops 500,000 Jun 30, 2020 0 135 Top Democrats asks US spy chiefs for briefing on Russia bounty reports Jun 30, 2020 0 1804 France’s ex-PM Fillon gets two-year term in fake job scandal Jun 30, 2020 0 556 Duda wins Polish presidential vote, but now faces tough run-off WARSAW: Incumbent President Andrzej Duda won the first round of Poland’s presidential election at the weekend, but will face a tough run-off against Warsaw’s liberal mayor in a deeply polarised country. According to .. Greece launches online virus questionnaire for tourists ATHENS: Tourists travelling to Greece will be required from Wednesday to complete an online questionnaire 48 hours in advance to determine whether they need to be tested for coronavirus. Over the weekend the Greek .. Merkel stresses German-French unity in post-corona EU recovery MESEBERG: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed German-French unity in reconstructing the EU economy following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron near Berlin. “When Germany and France are .. EU countries vote on border reopening ‘safe list’ AFP Brussels EU member states are still struggling to approve a list of “safe countries” from where travellers could visit Europe in July, with the issue now being put to a vote, diplomats said on Monday. EU envoys on Friday .. Shooting at Seattle protest site kills one DPA SEATTLE One person was killed and another was wounded early on Monday morning when they were shot in the protest area known as CHOP, in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood. Seattle police tweeted that the shooting ..